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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Iftar buffets continue to be a trend this Ramadhan

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Iftar is one of the highly anticipated meals during Ramadhan. After a long day of fasting, believers look forward to their first meal of the day with anticipation which is why food joints across the Sultanate of Oman had created special buffet menus to capitalise on the dining needs of Oman’s residents.


While the majority of Omanis still prefer the first few days of Ramadhan iftars to be spent with families at home, other Muslims and a growing number of the local population particularly those working in Muscat and far from their families head out to restaurants to avoid the inconvenience of having to exert so much effort in preparing a meal especially when one is already tired from the day’s work.


An expat food critic shared that just like the previous years and now that people are freer to dine at different food joints, the iftar and suhoor buffets definitely will be one of the best trends that people are looking forward to with many online forums already busy collecting information of the best offers available across Oman.


“If you go through different online platforms, particularly those centred on food, you would notice that businesses are given spaces for them to post their promotional offers. From the buyer’s perspective, they wanted a good meal at an affordable rate so whoever provides the friendliest price with the most food diversity will definitely become an instant favourite,” the food critic noted.


For the low and mid-price ranges, people are open to paying between 4 to 8 RO for a good iftar buffet spread.


“This price range already provides you with the basics, from salads and starters to maybe about four or five mains, and a good selection of desserts and juices. Of course, laban and dates which are essential in breaking the fast are mandatory,” the food critic shared.


A lush spread for those


looking for a memorable


experience


Over the weekend, several high-end restaurants and hotels had already offered a media preview of their lavish offerings.


The Layali Ramadhan (or Nights of Ramadhan) by Al Bustan Palace was a tour around the world offering a good mix of Arabic including Asian, Mediterranean and Intercontinental dishes.


“But we are taking it one notch higher. We are looking into utilising the gardens and putting out stalls where there will be different activities for adults and kids alike. Other than the food, we wanted it to be a memorable Ramadhan experience which is so much deserved after the couple of years’ subtle celebration,” the team shared.


“What we are doing here is combining stunning natural surroundings and lavish interiors. The palatial resort is the perfect setting for making magical memories. Guests can indulge in a traditional Iftar, breaking fast in festive style and ease into the early morning hours with a leisurely Suhoor by the shore. From delectable menus to entertaining events, Ritz Kids fun and night-time glitter, the joyful season is always a grand affair at the palace,” the Al Bustan team added.


For Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah, Marketing and Communications Director Sarah Khaled revealed that they have multiple options for their guests to choose from — the options speak highly of the amount of detail they put into preparing for this year’s offerings.


“We have a sumptuous iftar buffet at Al Tanoor where we feature a host of Omani, regional and international dishes paired with refreshing Ramadhan juices. We are topping this off with live entertainment and since kids are an important part of the celebration, we also have a special kid’s corner for them to enjoy,” she shared.


“We also have Layalina Tent and Lounge where guests can enjoy delicious dishes from the ala carte Suhoor menu. For those who want to spend it with their families at home, we introduced the Ramadhan at Home menu where guests can enjoy a selection of hot and cold mezze including Omani lamb shuwa, lamb ouzi, Persian grill, saffron turkey biryani among others,” she added.


In Salalah, Alila Hinu Bay is focusing the celebration on their Friday iftar offering.


“In the spirit of the Holy Month, Alila Hinu Bay’s iftar offering has been specially curated for family-style dining, embracing culture and togetherness with sharing plates and mezzes. Guests may commence the breaking of fast with Alila’s signature beverages and refreshing Laban, followed by an array of cold and hot appetisers such as a Sambousek, Mini Pani Puri, Pakora, Mixed Arabic Mezzes and an Oriental Soup,” the team shared.


They added, “Embracing the beautiful sunset and relaxing into a blissful evening, guests will be served a selection of decadent mains which will include, a signature Salalah Mutton Kabuli Rice with Dakkhus Sauce, a Chicken Liver with Pomegranate Molasses and a succulent Mirbat Fish topped with traditional and contemporary herbs, as well as fresh local Mussels.”


Finally, “To end on a sweet note, Alila Hinu Bay promises delicious luxury with an Almond and Saffron Umm Ali, a creamy Rose Mahalabia, a deep Chocolate Coconut Luqaimat, Aish Al Saraya, or Fresh Fruits and Ice Cream, as well as the famous Kunafa. Embark on a harmonious journey this Ramadhan and create special memories with family and friends at Alila Hinu Bay.”


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